Kissing Party Gets Music Thing Right

Local band Kissing Party describes their growth in the music world.


Kissing Party’s sound can be summed up with the title of their 2014 LP: Looking Back It Was Romantic, But At The Time I Was Suffocating. The songs on the album feel sentimental, like thinking back to a happy moment and being glad it happened, but sad that it’s over. Their sugary pop complemented with their melancholy delivery summons the charm of bands such as The Cure and The Vaselines, but with a style that is completely unique.

Kissing Party began a few years back from a once-off acoustic concert at the then-just-opening Mutiny Information Café on South Broadway. Playing was Gregg Dolan (vocals and guitar), Joe Hanson (guitar), Dierdre Sage (vocals), and a few friends. Dolan was invited to play at the Hi-Dive a month later, but didn’t yet have a band to play with.

An artist has to sometimes back themselves into a corner in order to get motivated. “I agreed to play the show, but didn’t have a band,” Dolan said. “I did that on purpose so that it would force me to create it. We had 30 days to form and write 10 or 11 songs.” The resulting quintet now consists of Dolan, Sage, Hanson, Lee Evans (bass), and Shane Reid (drums).

One of the hardest parts of being in a band is getting comfortable, both with the group and with the material being written. After a few years of tours, albums, and practices, the band feels that they are now writing and recording better than ever. “I finally feel that the songs we are writing now are the ones that best capture what I am trying to do,” Dolan said.

Kissing Party still enjoys playing their older material. “Some of our earlier songs have this charm to them,” said Sage. “They are not completely perfect. They are a little desperate, and I like them like that.”

The band contributes part of their newfound creative peak to getting more comfortable with the recording process. “When you are recording, trying to get it to sound how you want it to is not an easy thing to do,” Dolan said. “I didn’t know for the longest time that you are supposed to double your guitars to make it sound big. No album you have ever heard sounds the same as when it was recorded. Some people think they just come out of the fucking speakers sounding like they do, but they have been mixed a lot.”

When asked to describe Kissing Party’s sound, Hanson said it is “drunken guitar rock. The vocals are very sincere. It’s almost like reading somebody’s diary.”

The best time to see any band perform is right when members have gotten comfortable with themselves as artists and musicians. Kissing Party is in that perfect moment, and promises to be an exciting band to check out during their upcoming performing at the Hi-Dive on Feb. 6.

—Dylan Streight

Kissing Party




Above: Kissing Party knows a few things about music

photo: Korina Rojo • CU Denver Sentry

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